[Calliope]: 216.Farm Life
I didn’t always live on a farm but I’ve always had family on the farm. Grandma and Grandpa started building there when mom was just young, no more than 2, and they’ve lived there ever since. You can tell it’s an older farm, the junkyard has amassed a collection worthy of any wrecking business and the buildings proudly state their age with peeling paint and sagging roofs. The corrals are in desperate need of repairs with the windfences resembling swiss cheese instead of a wind break. The roads are full of ruts and potholes as all country roads are supposed to be and the animals are untrusting and volatile to people they don’t know.
When I was younger I didn’t pay attention to the stories. I didn’t pay attention to the field names or the road names. I didn’t pay attention to events that would later be told as stories about me and my cousins. The thought never struck me but now I want those stories and names and events recorded, if not for your enjoyment, then for my and my family’s memory. At this point I find it vastly amusing how my aunts and more importantly my uncles tell me and my cousins how we don’t listen well and we do stupid things, then you hear stories about them. They did things we would never dream of doing. If I’m considered to be a miscreant now, words fall short of what they were then.
During these stories references are going to be made to many different people. The First Generation will pertain to things that my Grandparents, mom and her brothers and sisters did since they were the first generation on the farm. This will include, in order of age from oldest to youngest, Aunty Melanie, my mom, Donna, Uncle Danny, Uncle Wayne, Aunty Karen and Uncle Kevin who were twins and Uncle Donnie for a grande total of seven. The Second Generation is a bit bigger since it consists of all the grandkids, we the uncontrollable offspring of the offspring. In order from oldest to youngest we include Tracy, April, Danelle, me (Angie), Chelsey, Travis, Brandon, Cara, Kyler, Terris, Kayla, Dallas, RaeAnn and Kale for a grande total of fourteen. Now fourteen doesn’t seem like a lot of grandchildren and for some it isn’t, especially when you consider that we’re spread out over twenty years, yet this never stopped us from getting into mischief. While we didn’t exploit our resources like our angelic parents, aunts and uncles we still found trouble around most corners.
From the creek at O’Hara’s to the River Valley all the way around past Thielman’s and back to the barnyard, we’ve all covered it all and laughed everywhere. The rolling hills, the thick underbrush, the open field and muddy corral, the entertainment and memories are endless and the sanity completely questionable. Here in these stories is a record of the O’Connor’s and a testament about our infamous escapades and many of the reasons the cops know the name so well, at least in east central Alberta.
Now these stories will also include a handful about my brother, myself, and other acquaintances in a time when we didn’t live close to the rest of the family. These won’t be included in the First or Second Generation sections but in The Manitoba Years since that’s where we lived. This was our first introduction to living on a farm so many of our new discoveries were separate from that of our cousins and thusly will be recorded separately. Still, Manitoba provided its own tales based it its own pastures with their own names. From the two sections and three quarters all the way home to the seventy acres and the calving pasture, the Manitoba farm was where we found our farm legs and made some of the best memories for my brother and I.
Note: Remember that this is life on the farm which is vastly different than life in the city. Many stories may contain descriptions unsuitable for and to some so consider this your warning. Blood and gore ahead! Also, while many things may seem inhumane in text they aren't unnatural in life. This isn't to say there aren't inhumane moments throughout the stories but recall that many of these stories occured when we were children and were curious about such things.
© Angie O’Connor